Jewett is on State Highway 79, Farm Road 39, and the Missouri Pacific line near its intersection with that of the Burlington Northern, some twelve miles northwest of Centerville in northwestern Leon County. The town was laid out in 1871 by the International Railroad Company and named for Henry J. Jewett, a prominent judge and politician who helped organize Leon County. During the community's first year a store and a post office were opened, and the town's first newspaper, the Advance, dates from this period. The Jewett Methodist Church was built in 1873, a Baptist church was organized in 1876, and a Cumberland Presbyterian church was organized in 1884. In 1875 citizens opened a private academy, which eventually merged with the public schools. The Grange opened a store in Jewett in 1880. By 1884 the community had an estimated population of 500, five general stores, three saloons, three churches, a steam cotton gin and gristmill, and the weekly Independent Farmer. The Independent Farmer in 1885 became the Jewett Messenger, which was still in operation in the 1980s. A bank was opened at Jewett in 1890, and that same year the town incorporated. By 1900 Jewett had a population of 433. In 1905 the Houston and Texas Central Railway built through the community, as did the Trinity and Brazos Railway in 1907. The town was served by three railroads until the Houston and Texas Central was abandoned in 1933. Several motels served the passengers who transferred lines there. By 1910 the community had 586 inhabitants, and in 1914 it had seven general stores, two drugstores, and a cotton gin. In the 1920s Jewett had the only accredited high school in the county, and in 1930 the Jewett schools served 179 white and eighty black pupils. Jewett's population declined to 515 by 1930, rose to 589 by 1950, dropped to 445 by 1960, and began to rise again in the 1970s. Nucor Steel-Texas opened a plant in Jewett in 1974 and by the next year employed 280 workers. By 1980 the town's population had risen to 597. A public library was started there in 1983, and in 1990 Jewett reported 668 residents and thirty-two businesses. The population grew to 861 with 100 businesses by 2000.